This case study details the development and progress of a bi-communal Conflict Resolution Trainer Group on the divided island of Cyprus. The Trainer Group consists of 30 Greek and Turkish Cypriot members and can be defined as an internal grassroots structure aiming to initiate a range of peace-building projects. The report begins with a short description of the historical development of the Cyprus conflict. The main section of the report deals with the origins and the development of the Trainer Group as one of the most successful social initiatives on Cyprus. The analysis focuses on the obstacles the Trainer Group encountered when implementing their initiative and on how the spectrum of activities of the Trainer Group could be broadened by the support of foreign actors.
Today, the U.S. Army is decisively engaged in both fighting an unfamiliar type of war and transforming itself to meet the challenges of future warfare. But what are those challenges? What capabilities does U.S. strategy demand of its military instrument? Where are the major capability gaps and how should they inform Army Transformation to ensure the future expeditionary Army has the right campaign qualities? The author argues that the major capability gap in today’s force–and vital for future campaigns–is the ability to conduct stabilization. He explores the changes in U.S. strategy that are the impetus behind the need for greater capacity to conduct post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. Then he analyzes the emerging role of the Army in post-conflict operations in the context of modern combat to more fully understand the specific requirements of stabilization. He then develops an operational concept–progressive stabilization–that complements the Army’s concept of rapid decisive operations, while improving its ability to contribute to long-term conflict resolution. He outlines three key force attributes an expeditionary force structure must have to provide the requisite mix of combat and stabilization capabilities. Finally, he builds on those attributes to suggest three areas where Army leaders must make near-term adjustments in the Modular Force to ensure the nation has a truly expeditionary force with the campaign capacity for both rapid decisive operations and stabilization.
The article analyses peacebuilding theories and methods, as applied to justice system reform in post-conflict scenarios. In this respect, the international authorities involved in the reconstruction process may traditionally choose between either a ‘dirigiste’ or a consent-based approach, representing the essential terms of reference of past interventions. However, features common to most reconstruction missions, and relatively poor results, confirm the need for a change in the overall strategy. This requires international donors to focus more on the demand for justice at local levels than on the traditional supply of financial and technical aid for reforms. The article stresses the need for effectively promoting the local ownership of the reform process, without this expression being merely used by international actors as a political umbrella under which to protect themselves from potential failures.
A well-trained, professional police force dedicated to upholding the rule of law and trusted by the population is essential to fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan and creating stability. However, the police programmes in Afghanistan have often been dominated by different national agendas and hampered by too few resources and lack of strategic guidance. These issues pose an enormous challenge for the Afghan government and the international community in rebuilding the police. This article argues that it is imperative that the international effort strike a balance between the short-term needs of fighting an insurgency and the long-term needs of establishing an effective sustainable policing capability when building up the police force; and that the process must not be subject merely to satisfying current security challenges or traditional state-building needs.
From a security perspective, the reintegration of ex-combatants has been largely successful in Liberia due to six years of sustained effort to reestablish rule of law throughout the country, to rebuild institutions, to promote early recovery, and to reintegrate the former fighting forces as well as other war-affected populations. This, however, does not mean that all problems related to integration are completely resolve. Since 2003, an array of efforts have been undertaken to reintegrate ex-combatants, from classic disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration to strategic and community-based interventions that aims at promoting alternative livelihoods. Here, Tamagnini and Krafft consider what those efforts have achieved and what was not achievable, explain why it is time to end targeted assistance to ex-combatants in Liberia, and propose the next steps to be taken.
Dialogues can be viewed as one means – if not the classical one – of dealing constructively with conflicts. In the following, I propose to examine some of the core features of dialogue projects, looking at their variations and implications in greater detail. First I will give an overview of several different ‘ideal types’ of dialogues, as well as identifying the basic elements of most dialogue processes. Second, I will distinguish between four concepts of dialogue work, a taxonomy which serves primarily to illustrate the practical nature of such projects. Third, dialogue projects will be set in the context of various approaches to handling conflict, in order to better establish criteria for measuring success. Fourth, I will present a number of lessons learned in the course of recent evaluation studies. The questions raised above will be discussed at the end, on the basis of the underlying empirical experience on which this chapter is based.
Previous analyses have provided extensive and in-depth insights into the external relations of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan, particularly the division of labour between them and the humanitarian assistance community. This article broadens and deepens this literature by focusing on the internal relations of PRTs, particularly the cooperation between military and civilian sections within them. It shows that the successes and failures of PRTs are not just on the part of individual advisers, officers or uncooperative partners, but can also be located in the organizational culture of a PRT as a whole. On the one hand, a PRT constitutes a forum in which diverging civilian expert, military and national interests may collide, producing a potential for a ‘clash of mindsets’. On the other, such a collision can lead to fruitful results and innovative policies in which different viewpoints complement each other.
This article argues that mediation and political engagement by third parties can contribute to peacebuilding by strengthening the political processes in countries exiting civil conflict. Third-party engagement can create the political space within which long-term reconstruction, development, and reconciliation issues can be discussed among national actors. Given that peace agreements are frequently mere cease-fires representing short-term deals among elites, mediation and political engagement can assist the transformation of these deals into long-term commitments and inclusive national politics. Specifically, mediation can contribute to peacebuilding in three ways. First, mediators contribute to peacebuilding by working toward peace agreements that serve as frameworks for the opening up of the political process as opposed to agreements that lock in detailed, long-term governance models and concentrate power in the hands of the wartime elites. Second, in the period immediately following the signing of peace agreements, mediation helps parties adhere to the agreements and settle any remaining issues. Third, mediation contributes to making transitional governments workable and, as much as possible, ensures that they gradually lead to more inclusive political processes.
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the cultural dimensions of conflict. Books, studies, and courses have offered perspectives on the nature of culture and its complex relationship to the transformation of conflict. Yet, ethnic and cultural fault-lines in multiple destructive conflicts continue to bring high-profile reminders of the frailty of our approaches when faced with generational hatred and enemy identities. What has brought culture onto centre stage as a feature of conflict? Among other factors, the role of world militaries continues to shift from cold war strategies of deterrence to hot peace missions of peace keeping and peace building. These deployments typically involve multinational forces in countries divided by intense ethnic conflicts, necessitate extended interaction with local cultures, and frequently include efforts to strengthen civil societies that are deeply rooted in diverse cultural and historical traditions. Thus, these teams themselves experience cultural miscommunications and conflicts as they are dealing with the same in the populations they have come to serve. In this article, I will focus on ways culture operates both as a resource and a barrier. The next section will present three metaphorical perspectives: first, culture as a lens, secondly, culture as a medium for sustaining life, and, lastly, culture as a symbolic, interactive system, both shaping and reflecting identity and meaning. Each of these perspectives informs the contextual approach to transforming intercultural conflict that I will present in the final section.
The idea of ‘transformation’ implies that facilitators bring an agenda to situations of conflict. What is that agenda and how is it promoted? I believe the aim should be to use conflict as a moment, or more precisely, a series of moments of rich opportunity to contribute to human development. Facilitators, a term I use to refer to peacemakers working in group and inter-group settings, meet this agenda with responses that fall into two broad categories: by assisting empowerment, that is, supporting the persons involved in conflict to more fully achieve their own potential as human beings; and by fostering ‘right relationships’, that is, relationships characterized by recognition of the other, fairness, respect, mutuality and accountability. In very simple terms, they encourage parties to pay attention to the needs of both the self and the other.
This article calls for a re-examination of the justification, formulation and implementation of DDR programming in certain post-conflict environments. Qualitative fieldwork among ex-combatants in Monrovia, Liberia, suggests that the extent and form of DDR programming must be more sensitive to and predicated on context, accounting for conflict histories and current socioeconomic conditions and local institutional capacity. Moreover, in some post-conflict societies, a better use of international community resources may be to delink disarmament and demobilization from reintegration, focusing reintegration resources instead on open-access jobs programmes with discrete, complementary bilateral or multilateral programmes for particularly vulnerable groups.
This article argues that the main issue regarding the use of private military contractors (PMCs) is that of accountability. It begins by exploring the status of mercenaries in international law, as reflected in various conventions, protocols, and state practice. It maintains that contrary to popular belief, the use of PMCs or mercenaries–no matter how defined–is not a violation of international law. However, their use has serious political implications at both the domestic and state levels because it obfuscates the issue of ultimate responsibility.
This article will focus first on the method of mediation, acknowledging its role as one of the most commonly applied and studied forms of intervention in conflicts. This will set the larger stage for a consideration of the various forms and functions of third-party intervention, some of which draw their appeal from their supplementary nature to mediation and negotiation. A rudimentary model for matching types of interventions to the stage of conflict escalation will be presented as an initial heuristic for realizing the potential complementarity of different forms of intervention. Finally, a number of issues will be identified that can affect the overall current and future usefulness of third-party intervention in addressing the multitude of destructive conflicts that regularly beset humankind.
As the rising death toll among humanitarian aid workers suggests, saving strangers has become a dangerous occupation. In addressing the consequences of this increase, this article begins by placing the development-security nexus in its historical context. While it has long been associated with liberalism, two factors distinguish this nexus today: first, the global outlawing of spontaneous or undocumented migration; second, the shift in the focus of security from states to the people living within them. Reflecting these moves, policy discourse now conceives development and underdevelopment biopolitically – that is, in terms of how life is to be supported and maintained, and how people are expected to live, rather than according to economic and state-based models. The household and communal self-reliance that forms the basis of this biopolitics, however, has long been in crisis. Since the end of the Cold War, the destabilizing forms of global circulation associated with this emergency have been reconstituted as threats to the critical infrastructures that support mass consumer society. A new security terrain now links the crisis of adaptive self-reliance with risks to critical infrastructure within a single framework of strategic calculation. Rather than ameliorating the generic life-chance divide between the global north and south, the development-security nexus is entrenching it.
This article argues that nonviolent resistance should instead be seen as an integral part of conflict transformation, offering one possible approach to achieving peace and justice, alongside other methods of conflict intervention focusing on dialogue, problem-solving and the restoration of cooperative relationships (e.g. mediation, negotiation, restorative justice, etc.). It is especially relevant for the early transitional stage of latent asymmetric conflicts, as a strategy for empowering grievance groups (oppressed minorities or disempowered majorities) looking for constructive and efficient ways to attain justice, human rights and democracy without recourse to violence. While nonviolent techniques have been widely used by single-interest groups such as trade unions and anti-nuclear, indigenous or environmentalist movements, this article refers primarily to nation-wide campaigns by identity or national groups who are challenging internal oppression or external aggression and occupation, and seeking either self-determination or civil rights in a truly democratic and multicultural state. Although nonviolent action has also been advocated as a national strategy of civilian-based defence and dissuasion against external aggression, this article focuses more specifically on ways it has been applied by non-state actors such as social movements and grassroots organisations.